Target Practice and Fire Safety

After Randy’s Tannerite escapade, I emailed University of Nevada Cooperative Extension Living With Fire program coordinator Ed Smith asking about the wildfire danger caused by target shooters shooting out in the boonies. Here’s our conversation:

From: Gun Girl
To: Ed Smith
Subject: Wildfire and Gunfire

Hi Ed~

Can gunfire cause wildfires? If so, are there any tips to avoid causing them? ie ammo type, etc. What fire prevention items should shooters carry with them?


From: Ed Smith
To: Gun Girl
Subject: RE: Wildfire and Gunfire

Gun Girl… great question. Below is Carson City Fire Marshall Tom Tarulli’s response to your question…

“Hi Ed, I know these are simple but they work. #1 Restrict shooting on Red flag days. #2 Limit the use of metal tip bullets, #3 Keep a small extinguisher with you or bucket of water. #4 Shooting into a sandy hill is better than the side of any mountain or rocky out cropping. if you think you may have started a fire call when it is small, so we can get to it before it is out of control. It was an accident!”

For my two cents, don’t shoot in areas with dried grass and weeds. They are easily ignited by a spark, whereas living, actively growing plants much more difficult to being ignited by sparks.

Ed Smith
Natural Resource Specialist
University of Nevada Cooperative Extension
P.O. Box 338, Minden, NV 89423
P: 775-782-9960 F: 775-782-9968


  • zed Zombie says:

    It doesn’t matter if bullets can start fires or not – what matters is whether or not they can be blamed for it.

    One informal range above Boulder was shut down by the Forest Service just on the allegation, with no investigation or proof.

    After all, it couldn’t have been the fault of any of the off-road bikers that use the same area. It couldn’t have been lightning, either.

    To somebody with an agenda, no evidence is needed. Nor is any counter evidence relevant.

  • Sennin says:

    “#2 Limit the use of metal tip bullets”

    Ummmmm … doesn’t that preclude just about everything as bullets are made out of metal? Of course, there are the EXPENSIVE polymer-tipped ones that one could use for target practice and plinking …

Leave a Reply to Sennin Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *